January 31, 2005

Libertarian Problems of Transition

One of the tricky bits about libertarianism is handling the transition. I believe, ultimately, that drugs should no longer carry criminal penalties for possession, use, and trade. But I think it would be pure folly to do so and make addicts able to live a carefree life of stupor on the public purse. I think that there are lots of changes that have to happen in charity, in societal attitudes toward sloth, and in subsidy for irresponsibility before full legalization can proceed without serious problems, problems that we should not inflict on society.

That doesn't mean that I'm in favor of the current system. It's cruel, heartless, and counterproductive. But it means that drug reform shouldn't be taken in isolation, shouldn't be accomplished by radical reform that only addresses legalization. In short, the permissiveness of legalization should be balanced by withdrawing permissiveness in other areas, permissiveness that is sponsored by the public purse. If there were a bill that made all drugs legal and restored welfare back to the 1970s style guaranteed benefits, I'd vote against it.

This all came to mind because te Germans are handling prostitution legalization quite badly and are attempting to force a woman to become a whore. I can't imagine a dominant private charity forcing a woman to work in a brothel. They would destroy their charitable contributor base. The German government has no such problems and shows how libertarian initiatives can lead to absurd results. In a sane world, the local churches would pass the hat and pony up the difference to keep this woman out of whoredom. There's none of that in the article and it shows that either the reporter has a sadly atrophied view of German churches or the churches themselves are atrophied beyond belief.

Posted by TMLutas at January 31, 2005 08:17 AM